Reckoning the Spectre and Meltdown Performance Hit for HPC
While no one has yet created an exploit to take advantage of the Spectre and Meltdown speculative execution vulnerabilities that were exposed by Google six months ago and that were revealed in early January, it is only a matter of time. The patching frenzy has not settled down yet, and a big concern is not just whether these patches fill the security gaps, but at what cost they do so in terms of application performance.
To try to ascertain the performance impact of the Spectre and Meltdown patches, most people have relied on comments from Google on the negligible nature of the performance hit on its own applications and some tests done by Red Hat on a variety of workloads, which we profiled in our initial story on the vulnerabilities.
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